What Type of Spring is Better…Extension or Torsion? Comparing The Two

If you need a new spring for your garage door, you’ll have to decide what type of spring is better, extension or torsion. The springs differ in their positions, and torsion springs are less common than extension springs. Torsion springs are gaining in popularity, however, and many homeowners prefer them because they’re a bit more refined and sophisticated. Overall, the better type of spring depends on individual preferences. To help you decide, consider the following information about these two main types of garage door springs.

Torsion Springs

Besides price, torsion springs have many advantages over extension springs. These springs consist of twisting steel that retains force in an internal bar. They’re usually installed on the upper section of the door and mounted on the door header. Torsion springs can lift up to 500 pounds, and they have a lifespan of 15,000 to 20,000 lifts. The door’s weight gets transferred to the center anchoring plate, which is why securely attaching the plate to the door is important. Unlike extension springs, torsion springs work well for garages that have double doors. They do require a larger clearance above the door, however, of 12 inches.

With torsion springs, the center spring rests in an enclosure, which takes away the safety risk in the case of breakage. Many property owners are willing to pay more for torsion springs because of the safety aspect. Flying springs can injure people, animals, and property, including cars.

Torsion springs allow for a smoother, more controlled garage door operation. Extension springs often have a jerky operation, but torsion springs open and close the door in a steady motion. This steady operation keeps the door in proper balance and prevents it from going out of alignment. Doors that are out of alignment experience more wear and tear and sometimes even damage. Controlled motion also puts less strain on the door operator, which results in fewer problems with the operator since it’s not working as hard.

Extension Springs

Extension springs fit at the sides of the door mounted on the spring arms. They have a hook on each end of the spring, and they’re usually installed above the upper horizontal tracks. The springs extend to open the door, which provides force that supports the door. The more force applied, the longer the springs will extend. Each spring operates independently, but they’re calibrated for the same weight. Extension springs have a lifespan of about 5000 to 10,000 lifts, and they’re cheaper than torsion springs. Property owners can buy them in sectional or one-piece garage door varieties. They don’t work well for manually operated double doors, and they need a clearance for movement of 8.5 inches above the door. To extend their lifespan, property owners should lubricate them yearly with motor oil or an oil designed for this purpose.

Extension springs require safety cables, which stop the spring from being a projectile in the case of failure. These spring systems can fail at the spring, bottom bracket, or cable. Failure can happen at any time whether the door is in motion, open, or closed, which is why installing safety cables is important. Safety cables work by holding the spring in place if it breaks.

These springs have more parts than torsion springs, which unfortunately means that more things can break on them. They also operate less smoothly than torsion springs.

At Advanced Garage Solutions, we help customers decide which type of spring is better based on needs and preferences. Our professionals are highly experienced, and we only sell quality products. To speak further about springs for your garage door, please contact us. We’re proud to serve customers throughout the Twin Cities.